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brian's soapbox
MARCH 2015

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EXPERT OPINION - LETTERS

 

As always, the opinions expressed in these pages are purely and personally those of myself, Brian; they are not the official views of Queen, or of any other organisation or individual.

Reference:
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**Mon 31 Mar 15**
HOW TO CUT HOSPITAL BEDS ?
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They really spent 10 MILLION pounds on this report ?

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/health-secretary-jeremy-hunt-accused-5425277

on how to cut hospital beds ?

Almost UNBELIEVABLE.

Bri

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**Sun 29 Mar 15**
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE !
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Cameron's devious manipulation of mortality figures to make his 24/7 NHS election

Common Decency


What is a lie ?

How much cherry-picking of statistics, concealment of part of the picture, and sheer misinformation, constitute an untruth ?

Well, this is a very typical example to consider, sadly, of Cameron’s willingness to use subtle manipulations of the true facts in a case (doubtless served up by his ‘think-tank’, funded by the super-rich of Britain), in order to make a statement that LOOKS really promising, but in fact makes no sense, and, if implemented, would actually make matters worse.


OK - we all know that in reality, this David Cameron announcement is probably pure spin - an exercise dreamt up by Cameron's propaganda team, to paint a picture of a David Cameron who HASN'T been privatising our precious NHS - a man who actually cares about patients needing treatment on the weekends. What a wonderful ruse ! What a great vote-winner !!!

But just supposing there were any substance to what he's saying - that the NHS is letting people down on Saturdays and Sundays - THEN WHY THE HELL HASN'T HE DONE SOMETHING ABOUT IT OVER THE LAST 5 YEARS ?


Hello ? Who has been running the NHS SINCE 2010 ? None other than this smiling man, pictured in a lovely choreographed trip to a hospital accompanied by TV cameras - that whiz-kid full of brilliant ideas to try to get himself back into power on May 7th ! Yep - we naive British swallow it all whole, David !!!

Here’s what Louise Irvine says about ’24/7 care apparently offered by Cameron in his last-minute attempt to pretend that he cares about the NHS.

 

STATEMENT FROM DR LOUISE IRVINE OF THE NATIONAL HEALTH ACTION PARTY reacting to David Cameron's 24/7 NHS pledge

"This a rather desperate attempt by David Cameron to bribe voters with a policy that’s already in place, money that doesn’t exist and misleading information.

Mr Cameron seems to be using rather inconclusive evidence about mortality rates at weekends to justify a move to 24/ 7 day non-emergency NHS services. But trying to implement what would be a 40% service increase to cover weekends without adequate funding for extra staff and support would just mean existing services would be spread even more thinly and this could result in a decline in quality of services throughout the week and we could end up with higher mortality rates every day of the week.

This government’s underfunding of our NHS has already pushed it to the cliff edge. It's reckless of David Cameron to pledge to extend NHS care so that scheduled operations and appointments can happen at weekends unless he backs that up with money that isn’t recycled or previously committed"

1) Jeremy Hunt recently claimed on TV that Cameron's NHS 'reforms' are saving about £1.5bn a year. Read this for the truth ! http://t.co/GX2u8CmP4z (Generally believed to have cost ~£3 billion).

2) Hunt also claims the Government has increased the number of nurses. The Royal College of Nurses has estimated a loss of ~6,000 nurses.
- http://www.rcn.org.uk/newsevents/press_releases/uk/nhs_sleepwalking_into_crisis_-_rcn
- http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/aug/21/nhs-figures-reveal-fewer-nurses

Any increase in nurse numbers is in part-time and lower grade/less qualified nurses. So Hunt is comparing apples with oranges. The only honest way to compare is to count whole-time equivalent jobs - ie: to count 2 half-time jobs as 1, not 2, as the Government does.

3) Hunt says the Government has increased the number of doctors. This is misleading. In fact, the population has increased by 2 million, which means number of doctors per 1000 population - the only meaningful figure - has gone down.”

 

Black Common Decency badgeWell, all this info I’m quoting is direct from people who actually administer the NHS, and are appalled that Cameron has been on the one hand saying that he is ‘protecting and reforming’ the NHS, but on the other hand, in reality, parcelling bits of it up and facilitating the sale of these bits to entrepreneurs, to make a profit out of our health care.

Scandalous at the very least.

Bri

Buy Common Decency badges and t-shrits


For more details see here:
http://www.channel4.com/news/david-cameron-seven-day-hospital-health-election-pledge

 

Below is the Conservative banner from the last election in 2010

Cameron NHS Poster 2010

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**Sun 29 Mar 15**
EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES RAP - AND YOUTUBE COMMENT
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Cameron/ Osborne/ Farage ... Cassette Boy strikes again ! … - nicely done !


Cassetteboy - Emperor's New Clothes rap - https://youtu.be/vbLGG5UGEKw

and...

Seen as a Youtube comment. Interesting. And, in theory, true, I believe.

Vote for Queen to Dissolve Parliament

Bri

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**Sat 28 Mar 15**
MUSIC MANAGER'S AWARD TO JIM BEACH
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Jim Beach accepting Artist and Manager 'Peter Grant' Award

We had a very interesting Thursday evening.

Our illustrious manager, Jim Beach, was to receive an award from the Music Manager’s Forum (MMF) - the Peter Grant award for outstanding achievement in managerial skills. Very well deserved, we thought, and Roger and I turned up to proudly present him with his silver trophy, the top-of-the-bill event of the night.

I actually presented the very first of these awards, to Peter Grant himself, way back in 1999, and thereafter the award was named after him, so it was nice to make the full circle, and present to our own brilliant manager.

There’s a report of the evening here,

http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/queen-pay-tribute-to-illustrious-and-imitable-manager/061326

but it doesn’t mention a small joke that Jim threw in during his acceptance speech. He said that, in response to enquiries about the progress on the Freddie feature film, that Sacha Baron Cohen had been re-engaged to write, produce, and direct the film, as well as starring in all four major roles ! I’m afraid some folks might have taken it seriously !

But the evening went very well, including some nice live performances.

Cheers

Bri

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**Thu 26 Mar 15**
I HAVE A QUESTION, ON DAY 3 OF OUR COMMON DECENCY CAMPAIGN
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David Cameron is treating the coming election as a straight fight between the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. He is already littering the landscape with distasteful posters attacking the opposition, rather than informing us of his plans.

So if it’s a fight, surely, in the name of Common Decency it ought to be a fair fight. Right ?

But Cameron has at his disposal nearly three times as much money to spend on his campaign than Labour. He has three times as much to buy propaganda which, as we have already seen, does not seem to have the requirement of being truthful (the claim that he has 'halved' the National Debt, for instance). The money for the Conservatives has been provided by many of the obscenely, unfairly rich people in this country, as a way of them buying the kind of special treatment that enables them to stay obscenely rich. It’s dirty money.

How can any of this possibly be fair ? How can it possibly be democratic ?

Are we really going to stand for this gross indecency ? This fact alone is reason enough for Britain to rise up and DEMAND fairness in the run-up to this election. And vote accordingly. Or, truly, democracy is dead in our country.

Perhaps David Cameron can be asked to explain how he can live with himself, continuing on this demonstrably unfair course ?

Bri

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Thu 26 Mar 15**
ROBBIE PREMIERES HIS BO RAP
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Robbie premieres his Bo Rap ...

https://youtu.be/IBS415GnyNg

Bri

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**Wed 25 Mar 15**
SICK OF THE LIES?
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SICK of the LIES? You have ONE VOICE, ONE VOTE! USE IT!!! With Common Decency NO VOTE IS WASTED, NO SEAT IS SAFE.

Bri

Brian with Common Decency Billboard
Credit: Getty Images

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**Wed 25 Mar 15**
WHY I AM NOT STANDING AS AN MP
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Common Decency - Why I am not standing as an MP - https://youtu.be/wNW-LvynWQ8

18 March 2015

Hi Folks

I’m back. I’m sorry to keep you in suspense, but I won’t be standing for Parliament. Why? Because i know I can cause a lot more trouble as an activist in this next two months leading up to the election. At 10PM tonight (18 March) you'll see why. At 10PM tonight the Common Decency website goes live.

If you want a different kind of Britain, in which you actually have a say, join us tonight - Common Decency.

Bri

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**Wed 25 Mar 15**
LOOK WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE USA - A PEOPLE'S BUDGET
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THE PEOPLE’S BUDGET

Here’s what is afoot across the Atlantic. Maybe it could happen here, too ...

Member of Congress's Progressive Caucus are introducing the People's Budget this month. It does exactly what it sounds like: prioritizes real people over the corporate interests that dominate Washington.

Will you click here to become a citizen cosponsor of the Peoples Budget? It'll just take a second, and will help send a signal to Washington that they need to work for the good of everybody -- not just the wealthy.

Americans consistently list jobs, the economy, education and Social Security when asked about their top priorities. The People's Budget heeds these calls by making investments that will create 8 million good jobs, give a raise to working families and support critical services we all depend on.

This budget reflects the priorities of the American people.

At a time of extreme inequality and limited opportunities, this budget makes sure that the rich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes, while making investments vital to our future—in Pre-K and debt-free college, in infrastructure, in renewable energy and more.

Separate from the federal budget, the People’s Budget endorses the expansion of Social Security benefits by requiring the very wealthiest Americans to pay into Social Security at the same rates as everyone else. Expanded Social Security offers a solution to a looming retirement crisis more and more seniors face.

The People's Budget includes numerous provisions to address the persistent racially based inequality our country faces and, if implemented, would provide stronger paths to equity for communities of color.

Congress won't want to pass the People's Budget, because it conflicts with the interests of the campaign donor class. And that's exactly why it's so important that we show our support for it.

Become a citizen co-sponsor of the People’s Budget and we will deliver your signatures to Congress in support of a plan that puts working families first.

Thanks,
-Watchdog.net

Cheers !

Bri

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**Tue 24 Mar 15**
THE FIRST PROPER DAY OF OUR COMMON DECENCY CAMPAIGN.
DAY ONE

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So today was … the first proper day of our Common Decency campaign. Day One. The website had been up on ‘soft release' for about a week, giving us a chance to iron out the inevitable teething problems and make adjustments. Already we’ve had some great feedback, and already a number of people have written to tell us that they were thinking of NOT voting, but on the basis of what they’d seen on Common Decency, they will now vote.

Today we hit Vauxhall, with pretty much the largest billboard that it’s possible to rent - ‘unveiling' it in front of a tidy knot of press people, photographers and onlookers. A nice crisp morning, it was, and just about warm enough in a brief sunny spell to remove the overcoat to pose for the cameras!

Brian with launch billboard and reporters

Whether I’m going to be able to ‘blog’ all this stuff as the next 40 days go by, I’m not sure. It takes longer to ‘write up’ the events than to live them. But here we are … and I’m grateful for the attention the media are giving us in this opening salvo. The poster hopefully says enough to give passing people a clue as to what we’re about. Enough to awaken their curiosity, enough for them to click on www.CommonDecency.org.uk and delve into what we’re actually proposing. You have to make a judgment, of course, in designing a billboard like this, as to exactly how much information to put on there. You want to grab people’s attention in the few seconds it’s in their eyeline , so it has to be simple, but they need to get a message from it. It’s finding the balance between getting a message across, and cluttering the frame so much that people get confused, or just don’t bother to read it. I designed this one myself, out of necessity, in the short time available, so the comments I’ve had have been encouraging! They did a nice printing job! It will be up there for two weeks.

Brian lauching CD billboard
Photo credit: IBTimes UK

Following the ‘inauguration’ of the billboard, I did some fairly impromptu interviews to a bunch of press folks on the grass. To be honest, I didn’t think I was fully ‘warmed up’, and sometimes felt I wasn’t being clear enough. But I guess we got some points across. 

We then zipped over to the BBC studios in Millbank, an untidy heap of seething activity with what must be a hundred separate little studios inside. I was immediately reminded of the time when I was there a couple of years ago to be interviewed on the Badger Cull, and the infamous Owen Paterson, Minister of the Environment at the time (yes, he of the famous gaffe in which he accused the badgers of moving the goalposts!) was in the next room, booked to speak on the same programme. This was one of three occasions when he refused to be interviewed in the same room as me. So we had the somewhat ridiculous situation of both of us appearing on the same segment, talking about the same thing, but linked up from two separate rooms in the same building. It enabled him to pretend I was not there! Maybe he was cowardly, maybe he was prudent … but not long afterwards he was consigned to the scrapheap by the ruthless Cameron, replaced by a woman, Liz Truss, who, as expected, has turned out to be very much the place-saver, and a rather obvious attempt at grabbing some women voters by having a token extra woman in the cabinet. None of us have bothered to try to speak to her about the badger cull; it can’t make any difference, because it’s obvious that no matter what the outcome of the election, she will soon be in the same virtual dustbin that Paterson currently resides in! 

The ‘busy-ness’ of this place can be judged by the fact that, more often than not, when you go there to be interviewed you end up standing in a corridor in front of a lone cameraman with a piece of paper in his hand, carrying note for the questions he will ask. Today was obviously my lucky day, since I was ushered into a lovely shiny-looking studio from which the ‘Daily Politics’ show was being transmitted live. Even so, the ‘green room', or guest's lounge, was still a corridor! So I still felt at home. Crammed into this corridor waiting for their spot in front of the cameras was an interesting bunch of people. Here’s a chap who, in an extremely smart pinstripe suit, looks a bit like a thinned down version of Matt Lucas. He’s a UKIP candidate. UKIP, I think? Oh Lord. I think … am I going to be pitched against him on TV, like in the past I’ve been pitched against angry shouting farmers, in an attempt to make “exciting TV”? But he immediately strikes me as a very nice chap. Next to him is another chap with a quiet and thoughtful demeanour, which I think I immediately started interpreting in my mind as unfriendliness towards me. But as soon as I introduced myself, he came across with a smile and an unmistakable openness. He turned out to be a candidate for the Green Party. Opposite ends of the political spectrum, right? And obviously, realising who each other were, they both shaped up for fisticuffs – I had to hold them apart – see below.  

Peter Reeve, Brian May, Andrew Cooper

Peter Reeve - Dr Brian May - Andrew Cooper

Ha ha! Well, as you can see from the pic, just kidding! 

We talked in the few moments before we were called to make an appearance (separately, as it happened, although we’d assumed we’d be on together). I outlined the idea of our Common Decency campaign, and both these guys found a lot in it that they approved of. And I listened to their hopes of what they might achieve if they were elected to sit in Parliament – a lot of what they had to say resonated with me. And in just those few moments we realised that in fact we agreed on most of the things that were WRONG with Britain. It might have been surprising to the leaders of both these parties how many shared ideas there were.

So I felt a dawning of understanding that my theory of ‘Vote for the individual, not the party’ was being vindicated in front of my eyes. That’s not to say that a Party is necessarily a bad thing. It’s a group of people who share some dreams, some principles, who can support each other and develop their ideas into strong initiatives. But perhaps what has gone wrong is that the major British parties have been allowed to grow to grotesque proportions. Once this happened, whichever gang was in power for any period was able to push through their plans almost without reference to what went on in Parliament. They became bullies, and Cameron’s recent clandestine meddling with laws that used to provide moderation and protect the impartiality of the Civil Service will probably be seen by future historians as the most blatant attempt ever by a government to weld itself into an impregnable position … the very death knell of Democracy.

So – in a nutshell – while we will all welcome MP’s representing the major parties into the next Parliament, simply because some of them are very good at what they do, the dream is to see the parties themselves stripped of the power to be bullies. If the composition of the next parliament is a mixed bag, containing a good smattering of representatives of the smaller parties such as the Greens and the NHA party (and yes, probably UKIP, too, in moderation!), the miracle we can hope for is that NO coalition deals are struck, and we get a Prime Minister in number 10 who will stand or fall by how good his policies are, and how far he can command the respect of MPs from all parties. It’s a ‘Hung Parliament’ – an assembly of individuals who will discuss and vote according to their moral principles and the wishes of the people who put them in the House - you and me, the constituents.

For me, for Common Decency and for these two chaps I just met, this actually could be called a Democracy. For the last 5 years, and probably for some time in the past, we all three agree we have NOT been living in a democracy. It’s now time to reclaim it. 

So! I went in and did my interview. It’s viewable here:

Brian May 'Daily Politics' with Jo Coburn
- Common Decency Launch 24 March 2015 - http://youtu.be/KwjU0dGVmME

I sat down alongside, not these two guys, but a man called Alex Robertson, who’s the Director of Communications for the Electoral Commission. He’s been given the job of getting people registered to vote, and is very passionate about succeeding. This fits very much into our agenda, because – as you’ll see if you watch the clip - the pie chart shows us that this coming election could be totally opened up if all those people who didn’t vote last time … THIS TIME actually manage to get to the polling booth. To do so they must first be registered – and this Government’s decision to change the method of registration from household to individual has made it highly likely that vast TV interviewnumbers of people including students WILL NOT get to grips with this extra bit of paperwork in time, and hence will lose their right to vote on May 7th. (Serendipitous? Who knows?) Statistically, it’s certain that if this section of the community does NOT get to vote, it will massively favour Cameron’s elite clique getting back into power – a very depressing thought.

So I’m doing the interview sitting next to a man who is absolutely with us on our first Common Decency aim - to get the non-voters to vote. We supported each other in the short spot on TV, and afterwards we agreed that it would be fitting for us to support each other’s work in the future.

It’s always all over in a flash on TV. I find it a very difficult medium, even after all these years. In truth, although I am not a stranger to TV, I’m not hugely experienced at performing in the ‘chat show’ format, and for some reason it always feels very different from the corresponding radio experience, which I usually enjoy. Somehow there is always more time on the radio to think your way through and cover all aspects. TV often feels a bit like running a gauntlet with people trying to stab you as you pass! This time, however, I felt relatively comfortable with ‘chairwoman’ Jo Coburn who kept a firm grip but allowed everyone a decent say. I brought my favourite PIE CHART along to make the point that really if only everyone voted, Britain could be changed for the better overnight.

TV interview
TV interview

After I'd outlined my ‘principles’ of CD, the next person to speak is the chap sitting opposite me - Danny Kruger, who I have just learned is David Cameron’s former speech writer (I don’t have any such luxury!!!). Why he is no longer writing speeches for the PM is not something I will probably ever know, but I was expecting this to be the moment when I got shot down for suggesting that Cameron presides over, and protects, a rotten regime.

TV interviewTo my surprise, Mr Kruger delivers a very complimentary commentary on the Common Decency idea and there are no ‘buts’.

So now the interview is done, over in what seems like 60 seconds, and then my brain goes into post-analysis mode. I start to remember all the things I meant to say, and didn’t. But we all feel it’s a good result. A lot of messages started to come in on text and e-mail from people who have seen the live transmission. I’m seeing people saying on Twitter that they were not going to vote on May 7th, but after visiting the Common Decency website they are now determined to use their vote for change.

Our slogan comes to mind. With Common Decency, “No Vote is wasted – No seat is safe”.

We? We’re a small team on the road today. Me, doing my thing as best I can, but with the essential partnership and support of Anne Brummer. Anne is a phenomenon in herself. Suffused with a kid of energy that never loses its power or its sense of humour, she does the work of at least 20 men. She’s not doing a job - she’s passionately devoted to caring for animals, and has been my educator, my inspiration and indispensable CEO in all the work for animals we’ve done in the last 5 years. Her experience is vast – on the one hand, on the ground caring for literally thousands of orphaned or injured wild creatures in her Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue and also on the other hand, in the wider yet infinitely (usually) less satisfying world of politics. In which we operate on a daily basis to move Britain away from cruelty in all its horrific forms, from the evils of badger-baiting, to fox hunting and stag hunting with packs of hounds, to the merciless and completely misguided slaughter of badgers in the name of eliminating a disease (bTB in farmed cows), to snaring, poisoning, gassing and so many other despicable practices – all unjustifiable, some technically legal, and some not. Anne is always at hand when I’m out campaigning, and we both know that there is actually no dividing line between campaigning for animals, and campaigning for Common Decency. One has led to the other, for us, on a seemingly predestined path. The other encompasses the one. My other companion today is my long-suffering PA, Sara, who covers all the bases of organisation and continuity, sometimes with us, but more often back ‘home’ where she can keep an eye on the overall picture of my insanely complicated life. Because today (and tomorrow) I will be working flat out on Political change, but yesterday I was working in the studio flat out all hours on a brand new track I’m producing for the amazing singer Kerry Ellis, and at the end of the week I will be flat out on either an Astronomical or a Stereoscopic project. Or something else to do with the ever-encompassing arms of Queen, or Queen’s offspring, our Rock Theatre epic, We Will Rock You (a version of which I just helped to open in Hamburg). I love it all, but scheduling is a constant nightmare.

The rest of our day was spent catching up on E-mails, appointments, and plans for our trip to Stroud tomorrow, to support an old friend who is a very constant advocate of animals, David Drew, a Labour MP forced out by a particularly un-empathetic Tory 5 years ago. This is not to say that ALL Tories are lacking in empathy – as I’ll discuss in detail later, some of our best allies are Tories, but it has to be said that, oddly, Eton seems to have a strange and strong effect of dulling men’s sensibilities; and if we succeed in getting a change of Government in May, it will an amazing voyage of discovery to work in animal welfare under a regime that understands the meaning of compassion - and runs on morality rather than money.

Well, my day’s not over yet. The evening show is me being interviewed by Adam Boulton for Sky News. This man is powerful and scary; he has great depth of knowledge in politics – he’s penetrated the guard of EVERY significant politician in the last 15 years or so, and in pure TV technique and skill, he is matchless. He can tear me apart if he wants to. 

TV interview
TV interview

Well, if you want to see what happened, please click here. [or see below] He was pretty merciful, I feel! And my pie chart (a bigger one this time) was once again a big help in getting the ‘get off yer ass and VOTE’ point across. Adam is the kind of guy who will push hard to make sure he gets in all the areas he wants to cover, so I’m conscious that my sentences need to get shorter if I’m going to be able to finish them. It’s not a style I fit into easily. Like I said, I still feel like a novice in TV interviews. I start out on a list for MPs we’re supporting, from memory, and I stumble, putting Adrian Sanders (LibDem) into the Labour Party. I’m sure he’s thrilled (Sorry Adrian!)! It was a momentary slip, because I was heading towards Andrew George, who IS Lib Dem. And my hesitation meant that I never got as far as mentioning Caroline Lucas, who is a vital endorsee (Sorry Caroline!), or indeed Louise Irvine (NHA). So people may have got the impression that I was mainly headed towards the major parties, which is not the case. But I have to take my hat off to Mr Boulton; he is the ultimate professional for this job and I thought he treated me very decently.

Brian May interview with Adam Boulton Sky News 24 March 2015 - http://youtu.be/xr4D55FdAgU

OK. Evening writings now done, my mail inbox will now have about 100 new messages. Does it make me feel important?! Ha ha. Maybe it does, but at my age, feeling important is not as important as it once was! My daughter saw the evening clip and says she is proud of me and my little grandson phoned me specially. So tonight I am, in the immortal words of Machado de Assis, at least, a small winner. In fact, no prize will eclipse this one.

Good Night Folks. Peace to yo’all. 

Bri

Brian launching Common Decency - PLAY

Queen guitarist Brian May launches 'common decency' campaign - https://youtu.be/4xRZ6_bh6OI
[This video required to be watched on YouTube]

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**Tue 24 Mar 15**
THE DAY JOB ! LAUNCHING COMMON DECENCY
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My job today ! Launching Common Decency in Vauxhall JOIN US ! http://www.commondecency.org.uk

Brian with Common Decency billboard

The day job ! Let Common Decency help you to use your VOTE for change.

Bri

Bri, Common Decency billboard and reporters

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**Tue 24 Mar 15**
COMMON DECENCY BILLBOARD LAUNCH TODAY
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Common Decency banner with fox


Common Decency
Billboard launch at Vauxhall 10 am TODAY !!

See ya there !

Bri

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**Mon 23 Mar 15**
BEST VIDEO SO FAR - AND COMMON DECENCY BADGES
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Demonstrating Pie Chart

Common Decency and our Pie Charts - http://tinyurl.com/myyubol

[Transcript]

They're telling me this is my best VIDEO so far, explaining how Common Decency could work. https://www.youtube.com/user/brianmay.

Common Decency badges now available in fabulous colour-blind colours !

http://www.commondecency.org.uk

Everybody loves the badges !! ha ha.

Bri

LINK TO SHOP

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**Sun 22 Mar 15**
'PHYSICAL LAUNCH' COMMON DECENCY - TUESDAY
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'Physical launch' of Common Decency initiative in central London this Tuesday morning.

Watch this space !

Bri

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**Sun 22 Mar 15**
POMPIDOU
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Anita on Pompidou

How fabulous does my missus look on Pompidou ?!

Bri

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**Sat 21 Mar 15**
IF VOTING WERE COMPULSORY
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If Voting were compulsory ...

NPR.ORG - IT'S ALL POLITICS
What If Everyone In America Had To Vote
19 March 2015

Great idea in my opinion - for the UK too.

Bri

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**Sat 21 Mar 15**
ECLIPSE FROM OUR TINY PLANE
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Total Solar Eclipse from our tiny plane over the Faroes yesterday. I'll write it up on Soapbox when I recover !

Bri

Eclipse from plane over Faroes

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**Fri 20 Mar 15**
SUPPORTING CAROLINE LUCAS MP - A COMMON DECENCY BADGE FOR CAROLINE
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Caroline signs her explosive book

I've been tweeting about Caroline Lucas. I went to support her book launch.

This is a book we all have to read and then give to a friend in the next few days. It will tell you better than I can WHY we need common decency. IT describes the pathetic posturing of MP’s that vote on matters they know nothing about, following party lines and ignoring the constituents who put them in there. AND MUCH MORE !

It will make you so angry you will HAVE to join Common Decency to make sure the old-style time wasting career politicians are kicked out this time. We need MP’s like Ms Lucas. There are good decent candidates in every party, but they are not in the majority. Help us make the next parliament one which has enough decent souls in it to have the courage to reform the system from top to bottom and give us back our voice.

Cheers

Bri

---

Supporting the amazing warrior Caroline Lucas at her book launch tonight. And making our first Common Decency award.

Caroline and Bri

Caroline Lucas signs her explosive book, which tells the truth about Parliament. Seriously, read it and weep !

 

Yes, in deference to a great MP I had a green CD badge on today. But remember we're colour-blind. It's all about decent people.

This is me today.

Eclipse and badge

Eclipse and badge - stereo

Happy eclipse-watching. But go safe. And tell a friend about Common Decency today - OK ?

Thanks.

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Love this. Perfect. Think about it, folks ! Jump ! May 7th. But don't forget to tell everyone else to Jump too.

 

People don't know their true power

Bri

Common Decency banner

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**Fri 20 Mar 15**
BOOK LAUNCH - RUSKINS'S DAGUERREOTYPES
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This is great research ! Photohistory enthusiasts ... This is for you !

Book launch: Carrying Off the Palaces: John Ruskin's Lost Daguerreotypes
by Michael Pritchard

http://britishphotohistory.ning.com/m/blogpost?id=2680769%3ABlogPost%3A89966

My friends Ken and Jenny Jacobson have devoted years of their lives to this great book

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-31904327
Ruskin's daguerreotypes

Bri

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**Fri 20 Mar 15**
MY MISSUS IN ARMADA
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I don't usually do this but so proud of my missus in ARMADA playing Elizabeth I. Amazing ! This will be a smash !

Bri

Anita as Elizabeth I

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**Fri 20 Mar 15**
SOLAR ECLIPSE
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I'm heading out in't morning to try to see the Total Solar Eclipse. BE CAREFUL out there folks. NEVER look straight at the Sun. Project !

It's a pretty big eclipse folks, this time. Wishing you all clear skies. But please be careful. NEVER LOOK AT SUN. Be safe. Project.

I hope to be somewhere over the Faroes by 9.30-ish this morning for totality. A harebrained scheme ! In a plane above the clouds.

Enjoy the eclipse !

Records show that the Babylonians and the ancient Chinese were able to predict solar eclipses as early as 2500 BC, but it was a phenomenon that confounded ancient civilisations for centuries. The Greeks believed that the solar eclipse was a sign that the gods were angry and death and destruction were on their way. In fact, eclipse comes from ekleipsis, an ancient Greek word that means obscured, or abandoned. A fragment of a lost poem by Archilochus (c680–645 BCE) depicted a solar eclipse as such:

“Nothing there is beyond hope,
nothing that can be sworn impossible,
nothing wonderful, since Zeus,
father of the Olympians,
made night from midday,
hiding the light of the shining sun,
and sore fear came upon men.”

Bri X

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**Thu 19 Mar 15**
CAROLINE LUCAS'S BOOK, ASTEROID DAY - AND MORE
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Heading to launch of Caroline Lucas's explosive book. Whether you're Green or not, every Brit should read this!

Honourable Friends

MORE:

Latest on Asteroid Day https://twitter.com/AsteroidDay/status/578538859803328512

And this is when you really start to lose faith in the Human Race.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-31954578 … Sadistic attacks on Badgers - despicable.

Bri

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**Thu 19 Mar 15**
PLEASE VISIT COMMON DECENCY WEBSITE FOR LATEST UPDATES...
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Please visit CommonDecency.org.uk for latest updates and to join in the campaign.

We CAN make a change on May 7th - but only if we pull together and spread the word.

Bri

Please visit
Website: www.CommonDecency.org.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Common-Decency/1577094359170378
Twitter: www.twitter.com/@DecencyCommon

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**Thu 19 Mar 15**
THE AUSTERITY CON
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The Austerity Con

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n04/simon-wren-lewis/the-austerity-con

Brilliant in-depth article on Osborne's failure.

Bri

The Austerity con

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**Wed 18 Mar 15**
PIE CHART VIDEO - COMMON DECENCY
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Common Decency banner

Demonstrating Pie Chart

Common Decency and our Pie Charts - http://tinyurl.com/myyubol

So, you're telling me there's no point in voting, that it can't possibly make a difference, unless maybe you're in a marginal seat.

Well, let's look at a seat, which isn't marginal. Let's look at this one.

This happens to be the seat of George Osborne, strangely enough, we've chosen it at random, but you can see here what happened last time. This is what we call a Pie Chart, and the blue section represents all the people that voted for George Osborne. The yellow section represents the Lib Dems and the red is the Labour Party, so you can see that he's way out ahead, is George Osborne. He's got 37% of the vote.

Now people are saying, "Okay, how can we possibly change it? If I vote for the red or the yellow here, or an Independent, it's not going to make any difference." But what didn't we see? What's the bit on the right. The bit on the right is the people who didn't bother to vote. They amount to 32%.

Now very simple arithmetic tells you that 32%, plus all the people in the red sector, or all the people in the yellow sector, would amount to more than George Osborne got, so this seat actually, if everybody voted in the constituency, is not safe. This could be turned upside down, and just supposing somebody in the red sector - I mean we don't know who the candidates are and I'm not going to even get into that - but supposing in our studies in Common Decency, in which you will help us, but supposing we find like, say, the yellow guy or the red guy is actually very decent and is against the badger cull and is against breaking up the National Health, is against MPs lying in the Commons, is against all the corruption which is holding US out of having a say in democracy. Suppose we find a candidate that is really very decent, we can all get behind him, and we can perhaps dislodge this person who happens to be George Osborne.

So, to sum up, I would tell you no seat is safe, no vote is wasted.

Supposing you get up - you get up off your ass and vote - it makes a difference. Supposing you tell all your friends to get off their asses and vote, that makes a very big difference. Supposing you tell all your friends to get up off their asses and get all their friends up off their asses, then you get a kind of snowball effect, and this is what social media is so good at doing. We can tweet this, we can Facebook it and whatever. It can spread like wildfire and throughout the country we can have people saying, "Okay, this is not a safe seat. We can change this." We can unseat people who are in the House of Commons obeying party lines, obeying the whip, not voting according to their conscience, not voting according to the will of the constituent - YOU, the people who put them there.

We can turn Britain upside down and we can get a 'decent' Parliament. We can bring back democracy. We can reclaim our right to have a voice in this country.

Please visit
Website: www.CommonDecency.org.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Common-Decency/1577094359170378
Twitter: www.twitter.com/@DecencyCommon

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**Wed 18 Mar 15**
ALEXEI LEONOV - TRULY HEROIC
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Today we celebrate Alexei Leonov's truly heroic adventure - the first space walk.

Respects !!

Bri and Alexei Leonov

(pic from Starmus)

 

Honouring Alexei Leonov

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-31927266

- today is the 50th anniversary of his epic space walk - the first ever.

Bri

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**Wed 18 Mar 15**
COMMON DECENCY TWITTER, BADGES AND WWRY
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Yes ! We even have a Twitter handle ! @DECENCYCOMMON (and yes - we have badges too ... ;-)

Pins ARE for sale ! All proceeds to the cause of course.

Common Decency badges

Common Decency banner

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I love this pic of all of us in Hamburg WWRY last night. My ears are still ringin' ! Great Company ! Rock On.

Hamburg

Bri

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**Tue 17 Mar 15**
COMMON DECENCY GOES LIVE
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Dear Folks

It’s a big moment for me … something I’ve dreamed of for a long time.

Tonight - as of 10pm - the Common Decency website is live.

Please check it out, read “The First 4 Questions you will ask” - review the “Pillars of Common Decency” at the right of the page, all clickable for further text - and tell us which ones you agree with.

Click around and check the ‘expert’ essays, specially written for us by authorities in their fields. Check the videos on specific topics … maybe starting with the 'Pie Chart Video’ … and enjoy our daily additions as they appear in the coming weeks.

If you like what you see, please subscribe, and join our 49 day campaign to change Britain for the better. I believe this is the best chance we have ever had to rock Parliament to its roots - to rid it of the rotten stench of corruption, and start the vital process of top-to-bottom reform that we need to see. The reform that will eventually, finally, give everyone an equal say in how our country is run.

And, to all you staunch and stalwart Save-Me Warriors of old … this is where it led us. This is where we will break through. To a decent, compassionate, fair future for all.

Bri

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Website is now active ! Visit us ! Subscribe ! Contribute ideas !

Let's make waves !


No - I'm not standing for election - I decided I can cause a whole lot more trouble as a Common Decency activist
!

Cheers all
Bri

Common Decency web site
Click to access

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**Tue 17 Mar 15**
COMMON DECENCY WEBSITE LAUNCHES TONIGHT
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Brian introducing Common Decency

Hi Folks,

We're very very close to launching the Common Decency website now. March the 17th it will be up and operational.

In the meantime let me just tell you a story, which will perhaps illustrate the need for Common Decency. Why would we need it? Well, I believe we need parliamentary reform. Parliament perhaps seems rather remote, but it's very very important and affects all of our lives every day.

You may remember we had a badger campaign last year. We got over 300,000 signatures on the Government's own website. The Government was saying, "Well, if you get a hundred thousand, you can get a debate in the House of Commons". So we thought, "Ah, we can really be part of democracy". So with 300,000 signatures, we were definitely entitled to be part of democracy.

We got our debate. We had the debate. There was vote after the debate in the House of Commons. We won the vote. What happened? Nothing - absolutely nothing. So this is window dressing.

We're not alone in our experience. So many people have experienced the same thing. The Government can hold debates, but basically they have no obligation in their minds, to operate to actually take up any of the decisions, which are made in those votes. It's quite incredible. So we don't really have a democracy. The Government does exactly what it likes. It makes the pretence of going through the motions of having debates. It doesn't matter what the outcomes are. If they get a little worried that too many votes are going against them, what they do is invoke the Whip.

So the next time there was a debate we had many people on our side who were Conservatives - obviously a lot of people from the other parties as well. They were people who actually were helping us with the campaign.

One lady in particular was very much anti the badger cull, very much anti the return of blood sports like fox hunting. When it came to the debate we said, "Well, of course, we can count on your vote?" She said, "If I vote with you, as I would really like to, I won't see my children this weekend. The privileges that are afforded to me by the Government will be taken away, so what do I do?" Well you can guess what she did.

What I'm telling you is democracy stops right here. A whip is a means of coercing MPs NOT to vote according to their conscience. Not according to the will of their constituents, but according to the will of the party. The three-line whip forces people to vote according to the party line, whether the MP thinks it's morally right or not. That's why we need parliamentary reform. That's why you need to vote in this election to get these people out, who are hanging onto their ancient rites of forcing their way through. Get rid of the bullies. Lets install common decency into Parliament.

Please visit the website when it's up and running. We need you.

Bri

Common Decency website launches TONIGHT (March 17) at 10PM BST
- https://youtu.be/1OQYmxEkzhk

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**Tue 17 Mar 15**
THANKS HAMBURG
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Great night in Hamburg last night. We Will Rock You Germany is 10 years old and still as fresh as a daisy ! Happy to be there.

Nice to wake up to ! Thanks Hamburg - rock on !

Hamburg newspaper

Bri

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**Tue 17 Mar 15**
STAY SAFE DURING THE SOLAR ECLIPSE, FOLKS !
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Solar eclipse

Stay SAFE during the solar eclipse, folks !

A solar eclipse is a fascinating thing to experience … and we will hopefully all get an opportunity to see a good one this Friday morning, the dark shape of our Moon gradually blotting out a portion of the Sun’s surface. But do you know what the most important part of it is ?

SAFETY. Nothing is as important as safety. Not even close. It only takes a fraction of a second to damage your sight. NEVER look straight at the Sun unless you are 100 per cent sure that you have enough protection in place. Sunglasses are NOT enough. Old bits of photographic film are not enough. Have a look at this article for more information.

http://home.bt.com/science-news/heres-how-to-stay-safe-during-this-weeks-solar-eclipse-kids-11363968518480

The worst danger is from binoculars and telescopes. NEVER ever use such a device for looking at the Sun unless it’s specially adapted - for instance, for H Alpha radiation. If there is the slightest doubt … don’t do it.

What is a safe way to look at the event ? Use an approved filter to look through and make very sure it’s new and not scratched. OR … make a small hole in a piece of card and project an image of the Sun on a piece of white card. You can use your small telescope to do this too … and you’ll get an even nicer image - but get someone to help you who has done this before. There is a danger from all telescopes, and even small finder scopes can easily cause blindness.

Having said all this … enjoy ! I am considering escaping in a Northerly direction so I can see a totality .. the Sun completely obscured. This is a stupendous event, if it’s seen clearly, and really a total solar eclipse is something very different from a partial - quite life-changing. If I get there, and I’m not clouded out, I’ll tell you how it is !

Cheers

Bri

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